Saturday, November 30, 2019

La Befana...

The folklore of La Befana, also known as the Christmas Witch, hails from parts of Italy. Flying through the air, La Befana delivers presents and candy to the good children and lumps of coal to the naughty. She's basically Santa, but an old woman riding a broom (that has the power to sweep away the problems of the previous year). Hold the milk and cookies. La Befana prefers wine and cakes.

Some depictions show her as a filthy, soot-covered hag who wears rags and a scowl. I decided to paint my version. She's usually shown dirty, because she can fly down chimneys. But, I figure, if you have a spell to slip through heating ducts, you must have a spell to keep clean. I wanted to show her as colorful and benevolent, as the stories about her. I've added this painting to my Society6 shop and have uploaded several different products with this painting on it. Take a look! There are also several other different holiday themed pieces in this collection.
"La Befana" by Andrew Thornton, 2019

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Magic Keeper...

I started this painting a few months ago, but really, it has origins that stretch back much further. When I created this piece, I first built up layers of my old collages. Some of them were made over a decade ago. Even though you can't see them, they are there and are underneath everything. They change and influence how the painting is made on top. It's kind of like our own histories; you can't necessarily see all that has come before, but those experiences have shaped us to be who we are today. It certainly makes painting more challenging, as it isn't an even, smooth surface. I think that extra texture adds something though, even if it's a subtle thing. 

It's a larger painting than I've made in awhile. It measures approximately 16"X20" and I've worked on it a little at a time as time allows since August. I wanted to bring together a lot of different painting styles that I work in. It actually harkens back to a series I started in college of a mysterious, unnamed redheaded woman. I even got a little bit of jewelry design in there! Isn't funny how things come back around?

If you're interested in purchasing it, you can CLICK HERE to visit the Allegory Gallery online store. We are also doing limited edition prints of this painting on metallic paper that are available HERE.
"The Magic Keeper" by Andrew Thornton, 2019

Friday, November 22, 2019

Ivy Portrait...

I generally make things in "seasons". I can't always do this depending on my existing commitments, but this is the way that I work best and I have learned over the years to just hitch my wagon to the energy and see where it takes me instead of trying to fight it or direct it too much. I have different stations setup and I flit around like a pollinator and move to the project that most captures my heart and imagination at the moment. 

Right now it's all about the paintings! 

I've always really loved portraiture. Whether they're real or imaginary people, I enjoy looking for the humanity captured in the brushstrokes. I feel like there's a certain level of magic in distilling a person's energy out of paint and pigment. It's an illusion and I think the best illusions are ones that tell a story. I have a soft spot for the Pre-Raphaelites and Botticelli. I like Frida Kahlo and Jan van Eyck. I like the heavy-lidded ladies and soft cubism of Tamara de Lempicka. I like contemporary artists like Kehinde Wiley, Elizabeth Peyton, and Chuck Close too... just to name a few. 

I've wanted to do a series of portraits for awhile now. I made a few for the Strange Botany show, which was fun, but I felt like they had to be more... well... strange. But I wanted to make a series of just people. Sometimes there's a subtle hint of something or another extra, but for the most part, I just wanted to paint a person and let that be enough. 

I think this one is called, "Ivy". She looks like an Ivy to me. I referenced different photos and paintings while I worked, but this isn't based off of anyone in particular or any one person. I had this idea that I'd make an entire series of these types of portraits and have a big show of them, but I don't think that's in the cards right now. Maybe one day. William and I are working on some big plans and I'm saving up to make them happen. So I'd love to find a home for this piece. The painting measures approximately 6"X8" and is made up of layers of acrylic paint and gesso on wood paneling. I'm happy to part with it for $215, plus shipping. If you're interested, let me know or you can CLICK HERE and find it in the online store.
"Ivy" by Andrew Thornton, 2019

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Holiday Sugar Plum Fairy...

What's this?!?! More holiday themed artwork? Yep! This time I delved into the world of the Nutcracker. I decided to create my version of the Sugar Plum Fairy and added new products to my Society6 page. I am really intrigued by the performing arts. Dance is one of those alchemical processes that transforms hard work, practice, and physical endurance and turns it into something graceful and ethereal. Good dance can engage the space and transport the audience. If you want to see the products with this painting on it (and other holiday-themed pieces), CLICK HERE
"Sugar Plum Fairy" by Andrew Thornton, 2019

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Holiday Abominable Snowman Yeti...

Who remembers the stop motion animation, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"? It was a holiday classic when I was growing up. One of my favorite characters was the Abominable Snowman, Bumble. Who doesn't like a reformed Yeti? I've always had a soft spot for this cryptozoological creature and thought that I'd add to my holiday offerings in my Society6 shop. CLICK HERE to take a look at this piece (and others) in the new Winter Holiday collection.
"Abominable Snowman" by Andrew Thornton, 2019

Friday, November 15, 2019

Holiday Krampus...

I didn't grow up hearing stories about Krampus, who originates from Central European folklore, but when I found out about him, I became smitten. What can I say? I love anthropomorphic creatures that punish the wicked and deal out justice to the naughty. LOL! I created this painting to celebrate the season! And now you can find all kinds of fun Krampus-themed products perfect for the holiday season! (Well... perfect for those that like a little less saccharine sweet holiday season. Though I think my version of Krampus is pretty dang cute!) You can find the new Krampus products (including greeting cards) on my Society6 page AND other new collaborations by CLICKING HERE.
"Holiday Krampus" by Andrew Thornton, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Still Available Kitty Companions...

Not long after Paulo's dental surgery, we had to take him back in for blood in his urine. He had to undergo lots of tests and received intravenous fluids. Apparently his bladder was still inflamed from his previous blockage surgery and his bladder walls were thicker than normal. He had to go on another round of antibiotics and go on an even stricter diet with specialized food.

It all adds up really quickly. On top of all the vet bills, his food bill quadrupled. Mr. Paulo's grocery bill is more than two male human adults (that like to eat)! (We've also adjusted the diets of the other cats too, so that they don't end up with the same problems Paulo has.) But what can you do? If it comes to the health and wellbeing of my cats, I'll work harder. They have given so much to me and enriched and bettered my life in so many ways just by being in it. They're like my children and what wouldn't you do for your children if it were within your power?

As of Thursday, November 14th, these are the Kitty Companion Mini Paintings that are still available. The sales of these pieces will help offset the extra vet bills and food costs. I thought it might be nice to post a better picture of each. Of course, if you follow the link, you can see more details. CLICK HERE to check them out in the Allegory Gallery online store.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Kitty Companion Mini Paintings...

I've always loved cats. For much of my life, I've always shared my home with a cat. One of my earliest and fondest memories is of repeatedly bumping heads with a grizzled old stray that we called, Blackie. They've always been there for me in the defining moments of my life. When my brother went missing, there was Persia. When we moved from my childhood home, there was Willow. And when I had cancer, there were Paulo and Babette. I've always had an angel cat companion just when I needed one the most. They were there in my most loneliest of times and I confided all my secrets to them. They listened without judgement or disapproval. (Okay, well maybe a little disapproval.) We had adventures and made up elaborate stories and over the years they've brought me so much joy. 

Recently our baby boy, Paulo, had to undergo a surgery for a blockage in his bladder. It was really startling and we weren't really prepared. Luckily with the help of friends, family, and supporters, we paid for the expensive operation and he recovered from that. While he was at the vet's office, they did discover that some of his teeth were bad and that he needed dental surgery. While he was recovering from the first surgery, we tried to save up money for the work on his teeth. Unfortunately, life can be unpredictable and he needed to go in earlier than we would have liked. I knew that we needed to make up the extra funds somehow and set to work making this series of cat-themed miniature paintings. They are ACEO (Art Card Editions and Originals) sized and are made on Artist Trading Card-sized watercolor paper. The backgrounds are made by layering washes of paint with salt and then when everything is dried, they are sanded and painted on top of. Each one is different. They are all a little whimsical and some are certainly more fantastical than others. Once I finished painting them and adding metallic pigments and iridescent paints, they are sealed and signed. The sales of these paintings will help offset the costs of the recent surgeries and help us take the other cats to the vet for check-ups as well.

The Kitty Companion Mini Paintings are available in the Allegory Gallery online store, which you can find by CLICKING HERE.